On First Impressions and Cowboy Caftans

First impressions are so interesting aren’t they?  I know you should “never judge a book by its cover” and all that, but of COURSE the cover has at least a TINY bit to do with the book doesn’t it?  Sometimes it doesn’t have as much to do with it  as we THINK it does, but it’s most definitely part of who/what that book is.  Funny how some people make such a strong impression that it kind of defines part of who you see them to be forever really, and other people just kind of somehow “come to be” in your life and you don’t really remember the first time you met them.  Some people I feel like kind of just fade into our lives and they just always ARE, and others, well, you most CERTAINLY remember what kind of impression they made right off the bat.

When I was at Cal Poly, in one of my classes we had to give a mini presentation about who we were during the first day of class.  Nothing major, we didn’t have to prepare anything, it was more of a “who are you?” type thing so that we knew more than each other’s faces and maybe a name or two.  This one guy, let’s call him “Joe” (*names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty and I most DEFINITELY DO remember his name), decided that just simply answering the question was not enough.  While most of us sat in our chairs and gave the usual: “my name is ______ and I like shopping and reading and long walks on the beach blah blah”, when it was his turn he leapt up and ran to the front of the room.  He immediately grabbed a dry erase marker and began drawing on the board as though we were playing some sort of Pictionary game.  We watched as he drew, not sure where this was going, and honestly it didn’t look like it was going anyplace good.  He finally finished his “work of art” and turned to face the class.  “Hi!  I’m Joe*!  And THIS (he motioned dramatically at the drawing on the board) is a diagram of my butt.”  He proceeded to explain where there was hair, as well as where there was not hair on his butt, why this was interesting, and probably some other details about himself that no one remembered because we were all stunned into a silence, memorizing that image of his butt against our wills.  When he finished, the professor gave him a long hard look, said: “Okaayyyyyy…thank you?” and later gave him QUITE a talking to about how inappropriate this presentation was.  Uh…YOU THINK???  I remember this guy’s real name.  But I called him “butt guy” instead, and he has been henceforth known as “butt guy” by my husband too.  I mean, the other day, I saw someone I went to college with and Eric said, “Oh was that butt guy?”  You SEE???  His first impression will NEVER DIE amongst those of us who were in that class that day.  I know nothing about him.  But I’m a wealth of information on his rear end.  Unfortunately.

Ah yes, first impressions.  There have been times when people have told me their first impressions of me.  Usually if I’m getting told by people what they thought of me initially, it’s because they formed a bad impression of me, and not a good one.  Otherwise it’s not really a great story.  Like “oh when I met you I thought you were super nice haha…” yeah not nearly as good of a story as “I thought you were vapid, popular, ditzy, and vain.”  Pretty sure I’ve heard some form of all of these things about myself.  Weird because I’m really not popular and I’m so self deprecating most days people would not think I was all that vain.  I do say a lot of dumb stuff probably too loudly so sure I’ll take ditzy no problem…whatever I used to be a blonde right!?  Anyway, whenever people are telling me their first impressions of me its because they were wrong…(“hey you’re not popular at all!” just kidding, see there’s the self deprecating side speaking up!) and they’ve realized that I’m not who I came across as at all.

To be completely honest, UNLESS you are talking about your butt along with diagrams and stuff, I’m pretty sure what you are wearing comes into play largely with your first impression.  Sure it’s also your facial expressions, body language, and what’s coming out of your mouth…but clothes are an easy first impression maker.  This is partly why I love clothes though…it’s a way of expressing yourself in a very visual way that’s immediate.  It’s like you get to put together your own piece of art, then wear it to show people:  “Hey, I made this outfit!”  It may not always come across as who you are completely, but it’s your creation and it expresses a part of your creativity and your personality!

Yep I’m two posts in a row with the caftans guys, what can I say.  I didn’t plan it that way, but I bought this thing the INSTANT I saw it on The Hippie Shake‘s website it was too amazing.  I mean, most caftans are like 1970s Florida beach wear, which I LOVE.  But this one, this one is like 1970s cowboy meets California beach!  The choker is from PrickliePear and the boots are handmade…get similar ones from Hillbillygypsy Boots!

Hope your week is starting off well, and that you haven’t seen any diagrams of anyone’s rear ends lately.  It really does stick with you…

On How Life is Like Thrifting

I was thinking about thrift store shopping…and I realized that some of the same rules that apply to doing it also apply to life as well.   I decided that instead of just writing another post on thrifting tips, which is definitely always fun, that I’d write one that’s both about thrifting AND about life.  Because I could always use a little encouragement and sometimes I just need to write this stuff for myself!

So here goes.  Here are some of my current (I like to use that word because hey, maybe I’ll come up with some new ones someday to add to it!) rules for thrift store shopping AND living!

Keep an open mind because not everything different is bad.   When it comes to thrifting, the best way to be successful is to have an open mind when you’re shopping.  Grab and try on stuff that has the potential to be amazing…or REALLY BAD.  The other day I went to Goodwill and I tried on this shirt that was either going to be like Chloe Spring 2016 runway awesome OR mom from the Goldberg’s epic 80’s craziness.  (It’s coming to the blog soon to answer your question :))  I guess I feel like in life this is super helpful too…sometimes I’ve written off people right away thinking that I would have nothing in common with them or that they seem kind of…different…and later on end up realizing that they are amazing fun people that I would have missed out on knowing had I not given them a shot!  There was this girl I knew a long time ago who seemed really serious.  I’m not serious at all people, so when people seem more analytical or solemn, I tend to shy away from them because they typically find me silly, loud, and ridiculous.  I knew her for quite a while and honestly I don’t remember how it happened, but one day we talked a little bit and I realized that even though she was a bit more serious than I was, she was also a LOT of fun.  We ended up hanging out and becoming great friends!  Somedays I think about that and realize that we missed a year or two of friendship simply because we had falsley judged each other!  All this to say, that when you’re thrifting, sure, you could try on some pretty hideous things in the process, but you never know till you try right?!  And in life, you might miss a friend if you judge too quickly!

You have to wade through a lot of not so awesome stuff…but not pay attention to it.   Gosh.  Thrift store shopping can be gross.  Let’s call it like it is.  There’s a LOT of nasty stuff that’s pretty much trash and you have to sift through it to find the good stuff.  That’s so the way life is.  There’s so much crap in social media, on TV, and just everywhere.  Wrong stuff, bad stuff, stuff we can’t control but get’s propagated by the spread of information so we have to wade through it just to get to the stuff we want to see and experience.  I have a hard time with this stuff.  I’ve always been very affected by the sad things I see on the news so I try to be careful how much of it I expose myself to.  I mean, we have to be responsible and do our part, but you guys I’m not superwoman.  I wish I was!  But in the words of Frankie Heck (from The Middle, if you’re not watching, it’s hilarious and the most recent episode deals with this topic!) “sometimes you gotta just relax and watch a movie with too many white people in it.”  Ahhhh I love that quote because it’s so true.  We all need to do what we can.  But if we let the problems consume us, it will not allow us to be effective at basically ANYTHING!  If you’re thrifting and you get bogged down by the smelly weird stained clothes that you see, you’re not going to be able to see the treasures that might be sitting RIGHT next to it.  So yeah, the garbage is there.  It would be naive to say it’s not.  But we don’t have to pay attention to it!

Don’t let your “failures” deter you from trying again.  And again.  Sometimes you go to a few shops and you come up empty handed.  Nothing fit, nothing was that great, everything was kind of just bad…it happens.  Some weeks nothing gets done.  The laundry piles up, the kids are cranky, you haven’t been a very nice person…it’s just life.  But hey, that doesn’t mean that we can’t try again tomorrow right?  That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to find some incredible thing at the Goodwill or that you aren’t going to kick butt at whatever you’re doing tomorrow!  Or heck, maybe even in the next couple of hours!  Things ALWAYS can turn around and the only way we are guaranteed that they won’t is to stop trying.  I stopped thrift store shopping for a few years because I stopped having success and then I stopped trying.  Well, I’m guessing I would have had success if I’d tried again!  Today I’ve been kind of a blah kind of human being.  I don’t plan on giving up and being blah for the rest of my known life.  It’s worth trying again no matter what the “failure” is!

Share your successes freely and your failures sparingly.  Haven’t you noticed how  success breeds success and failure breeds failure?  Like if you tell a friend about all the cool stuff you found at a thrift store, she gets excited and tends to go find stuff on her own…it’s like your excitement and your triumphs cause other people to do the same, but ONLY IF YOU SHARE THEM!!  Same goes for the negative too though.  You tell someone how you never find good stuff…it often encourages them to NOT go out and try…it reminds them that sometimes it’s a wasted trip and that sometimes there’s nothing but junk.  Same goes for life.  I don’t know how many times it’s happened, but when I hang around people who share good stuff all the time, I find myself doing things differently.  I try new things.  I take more risks.  I feel more confident and hopeful about life.  But those people who are constantly asking negative questions…sharing unnecessary bad stuff (like you know the bad Facebook stories about people you don’t know…THOSE types) can do the exact opposite.

So you see?  Life and thrifting are kind of similar!  I found this dress at Goodwill, and I could not believe my eyes.  It was one of those crazy bizarre things that I knew could go either way, and happily, all the weird things I tried on that trip ended up to be total wins!  But if I’d never tried, I’d never have known :)

The sandals are the absolute BEST simple summer sandals and if you need new summer shoes, you NEED these Sam Edelmans!  Oh and they come in like EVERY color too!  I am caftan obsessed…and honestly LOTS of vintage shops on Etsy have them, so do take a look next time you’re on there!

I hope your weekend is amazing and filled with fun thrift store finds!


On Yet Another Caftan and New Life in the Winter

Between the town where our house is and the town that we “live” in (where we shop, work, and play), there’s a big hill.  It’s about a 15 minute drive down what is referred to as “the grade”.  Usually it’s used in contexts like: “Oh you have to drive THE GRADE?” or “well, I certainly don’t want to have to drive THE GRADE!” as though it is some type of immensely challenging mountain that needs to be scaled up with brute force.  When we moved “over the grade”, I was a bit uneasy about this transition, since all my life I’ve been hearing about driving THE GRADE and it kind of freaked me out.  Turns out it’s just a big hill, and not much more.  And as much as I do miss living in the town we “live” in, I’ve come to enjoy that aforementioned dreaded drive because of the views.  It’s just a moment of peace where I get to look at nature and think for a few seconds before running my errands or whatever I’m heading into town to do.  As long as the kids aren’t screaming.  Haha.

California has been remarkably dry this year.  I mean to be honest, we’ve gotten less rain in the past few years than I ever remember in my lifetime.  So little rain that the lakes have been dry.  And when I say dry, I mean, DRY.  All that dryness translated into a pretty bad fire year and well, THE GRADE has a lot of fire issues when it gets like this.  All of this lack of rain led to a massive grade fire a few months ago.  It was an epic fire.  I mean, dozens of fire trucks lining the freeway (and those were just the ones we could see from the road), helicopters flying over the area, and flames.  The flames!  Right up to the freeway, you could see massive billowing black smoke rising from the fires engulfing the dried out area.  It was quite an ordeal.  Needless to say, this huge fire has left the whole area pretty blackened, dead, and even more dry than it was before.  For months now, the drive has been less scenic, and more of a landscape filled with blackened bushes and dead dirt.

This morning I got the kids ready and began our descent down THE GRADE.  I was kind of having a bit of a rough morning…just wrestling with some of the choices I had made in the past, and thinking about the dreams that I have had in my heart for so long that have long felt dead and dry.  I was thinking about all of this as we drove and then I sort of looked up at what was around me.  I mean, clearly I was looking out the window as I drove, but I wasn’t really SEEING what was around me.  When I actually SAW what we were passing by, I almost thought I was hallucinating.  It was like a scene from a movie where things are magically transformed or something…the hills had green LIFE on them.  The trees were green.  The ground that had been dead and dry had patches of grass on it.  It was so beautiful, it took my breath away for a moment.  You see, we’ve actually been getting a little bit of real rain over the past month.  And it’s almost like overnight, everything looked different.

I actually started crying when I saw this because it really felt like just yesterday the ground was all singed and just plain dead.  Now, there’s life there.  Beautiful, hopeful…life.  It really reminded me how things can change in an instant.  How a dream that can be long gone, even feel so dead that it has no chance of living again, can actually breathe again.

My longest and closest friend who is more like a sister to me just got married a year ago.  She had long dreamed of getting married and for years and had struggled with not meeting the right guy, and with losing hope that it would ever happen.  I remember talking to her and hearing in her voice that she wasn’t sure if it would happen at all.  Hearing that tone in her voice that basically had given up hoping for this thing that had long been in her heart.  Then one day, she went on this date and she was on it for EIGHT HOURS.  When I heard from her after that date (I of course texted her a few times during just to make sure she was OKAY…I mean this was a set up and she’d never actually MET the guy!) I knew he was it.  I think she knew too.  In one day, everything changed.  If she had truly given up and not even gone on the date because of how many times she had tried and failed to meet the right person, she never would have gotten married.

Sometimes it seems like it’s just not worth it to keep hoping for something when it hasn’t happened yet.  I know I often feel like that.  But it’s in times like that, when all it takes is a simple reminder that in one minute, things that looked lost can be found again.  And that’s what I’m hoping for in the new year.  More than anything else, I hope that it’s a story I get to live for myself and hear from other people too…that things that they thought were dead and gone, are alive and well.

This dress felt fitting for talking about new life.  Because I know this floral is so NOT a winter weather pattern, but it just makes me so happy I couldn’t wait to wear it!  I have a bit of a caftan problem.  I already have a few amazing ones, but when I saw this one, the bright floral print really just couldn’t be resisted.  I got it from this awesome Instagram vintage shop called @hustlevintage and I paired it with a thin scarf that I tied into a bow to keep it sweet, and some vintage red cowboy boots to keep it kind of monochromatic in all of it’s craziness.

Sometimes you just need to put on a crazy bright floral dress in the dead of winter and call it.  New life is coming, whether it looks like it or not, because all it takes is one minute…and the flowers will be blooming again!

Happy Monday


On Caftans, Bolos, Booties, and Not Being All That Much Fun

Sometimes I’m way too disciplined.  Like way way too disciplined.  I know that doesn’t really sound like a flaw, but it is, trust me.  Here’s the thing.  I feel like I have a hard time having FUN because I’m so worried all the time about how many calories are in something I’m eating (even when it’s something healthy, which let’s face it, it ALWAYS IS).  I’m thinking about what time it is and therefore when I should get home to start dinner so I can get to bed at a reasonable time.  I’m wondering if I should buy something, or would it be wiser to save the money, or is there something else I should buy instead?

I was raised to be hyper responsible.  Which is good, obviously.  But sometimes people like me get so busy thinking about the right and best thing to do, that we miss out on the actual thing that we are doing.  It’s hard to enjoy healthy food when you’re wondering if it’s too many calories and are my jeans actually getting tighter?  It’s hard to enjoy what you’re doing when you’re thinking about what time you need to be done doing whatever it is you’re doing.  But then, just try NOT thinking about it once you’ve been trained to be like this.  Yep.  It’s near impossible.

I’m trying to loosen up and have fun within the constraints of my disciplined life. I love working out, going to bed early, and eating healthy.  But I also need to be able to enjoy the occasional skipped workout and (gasp) sugary treat.  That second one is honestly gonna take me some more time.  Just to be SUPER honest with you!

So while I’m trying to figure out how to BE more fun, I’m gonna DRESS more fun okay?  That’s my solution for the moment :)

I got this amazing bolo from my wonderful friend Jessica of Hillbilly Gypsy Boots.  Who DOESN’T need a buffalo bolo tie in their wardrobe, am I right?  See?  I can be fun!!! I love the peach color of this incredible vintage caftan, and I thought it would be fun to keep with the color scheme and wear these amazing orange suede booties and the orange bolo.

I hope to report that I’ve become much more fun soon.  So stay tuned :)

Happy weekend!

My Boldest Vintage Caftan. Yet.

You know what’s funny?  The difference between the way we see ourselves and the way other people see us.  I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve heard what other people think of me, it’s QUITE different from what I think of myself.  Now I’m not talking about the people out there who don’t like me.  Because there are some of those unfortunately.  People who have been hurt by me inadvertently and who I’ve spent countless nights and tears trying to figure out how I could change their view of me.  I’ll simplify it for myself…I can’t.  What I am talking about are the observations of the rest of the world…the rest of the people I come into contact with on any kind of semi regular basis.

Once I had a girl tell me that she assumed I was popular, had tons of friends, and was kind of shallow.  Hilarious.  At the time, I was quite lonely and really was in need of friends.  I’ve had people tell me constantly that I am super confident.  Fearless and bold.  That I don’t care what other people think of me.  All of those things…are hilarious.

I have struggled with debilitating fear.  Such bad perfectionism about myself that I couldn’t even leave the house.  And lack of confidence that has nearly crippled me.  So hearing these things about myself always kind of makes me laugh.  But maybe, just maybe, we should consider that a lot of those things that people say about us are more true than we realize.  Because in all honesty, I think I was born to be those things that people say and NOT the things that I struggle with.  I wasn’t born to be afraid.  I was born to be in front of people.  I wasn’t born to lack confidence.  I was born to wear crazy outfits and encourage other people to wear whatever the heck they want to wear.  I wasn’t born to be housebound.  I was born to be a social butterfly, shopping and chatting up a storm.  So maybe everyone else is right and my view of me is the one that’s skewed.

That’s why I love this outfit.  Because it’s like HELLO WORLD, I AM BOLD.  And when I’m not feeling bold and I just can’t BE bold, I’m gonna let my outfit do all the talking for me.


Do you like how there’s a diaper butt photo bombing that last image?  I thought about not using this picture, but then I thought “well where’s the fun in that??”  I am bold.  Whether I feel it or think it or not.  This dress is proof of it.

So maybe you don’t feel so great about yourself.  Maybe you’ve gotten to a place where all you believe about yourself are your struggles.  Ask someone who knows you what they think about you…someone who doesn’t know your struggles…because I bet they’ll tell you a much different story about you.  This is not to say your struggles don’t exist and aren’t important.  But they are NOT as important as WHO YOU ARE AND WHO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!  Your struggles are not you.  My fear is not ME.  It’s something I’m beating.  With the help of this dress.

Be you!!